Dennis Talani, tool-and-die maker, Santa portrayer - The Buffalo News
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Dennis Talani, tool-and-die maker, Santa portrayer

Oct. 18, 1952 – Nov. 3, 2013

Dennis F. Talani, of Lancaster, a retired tool-and-die maker who regularly played Santa Claus, died Sunday in Sisters Hospital after a long battle with heart disease. He was 61.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Grover Cleveland High School and earned an associate’s degree in engineering from Erie Community College in 1987.

He worked as a tool-and-die maker for Trico Products from 1976 to 1994, then for American Axle from 1994 to 2005. He finished his career at Delphi Thermal, retiring in 2009.

A member of the Sheridan Park Fire Company before he moved to Cheektowaga and Lancaster, he was much in demand as Santa for numerous fire companies over the years.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, the former Carol Benny; a daughter, Brittany; and a sister, Cheryl Shelley.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 950 Losson Road, Cheektowaga.

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